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Using a Laminator to Foil: The Basics
There are many different ways to add foil to your papercraft products. One of the most popular ways is to use a laminator.
A laminator foiling process uses toner ink to transfer foil onto a project. In order to use toner ink sheets, you need to have a laser printer. Inkjet printers will not work for this type of lamination. The best toner printer for lamination use is a monochrome laser printer.
If a laser printer is not in your budget, you can always have toner sheets printed at your local office supply store. Call ahead to see if they offer this service and what the price might be.
Since lamination foiling has become so popular, many craft companies have to started market toner sheets. These sheets can be hand cut, cut with electronic machines, die cut and punched into projects that can be laminated with foil.
There are also things like sentiments, card fronts, and designs all on toner sheets that you can take from the package and foil laminate. These are very reasonably priced.
Free Printables for Foiling
- How to Foil you Own Prints and Stickers using a Laser Printer and Laminator - YouTube
A tutorial to show you how to make your own foiled prints and stickers using a laser printer, a laminator and toner foiling sheets. I also show you how to l...
- Free downloadable printables for foiling by Neha Bhatt ( 4 A4 sheets ) - CTRFFP02 - HNDMD.com
Buy Free downloadable printables for foiling by Neha Bhatt ( 4 A4 sheets ) - CTRFFP02 - Foils - This product contains downloadable PDF with 4 A4 sheets which has 12 different printables perfect for cardmakers. Steps for Foiling - 1) Add product to ca
There are defined benefits to foiling with a laminator over other foiling processes.
Benefits of Foiling With a Laminator
- Using a laminating machine protects and enhances the material of what is being laminated. This is done by adding a layer of plastic that protects the laminated material.
- The laminating machine adds extra value to the sheets.
- The laminator increases the longevity of the sheets.
- The laminator gives the printed sheets a distinctive look. This is due to the pop and glossy effect that lamination causes.
Best Laminators for Foiling
Everyone has their personal favorites when it comes to laminators. There are several considerations when it comes to choosing the right one for your needs.
- How often will you be laminating? If you plan laminate only once in a while, then go for a lower priced laminator ($30-$60) If you are planning to do a lot of foiling or perhaps want to make professional cards, then you will want to consider purchasing a more expensive unit with more bells and whistles ($70-$110).
- How much space do you have to store your laminator? Measure the area where you will store your laminator.
- What is your budget for a laminator? There are price points from around $30-$110.
Features You Should Look For
- Temperature setting. If you can control the temperature, what is the range? Ensure you opt for those upwards of 300oF.
- Auto shut off. Make sure the machine is built with safety covers to prevent injuries. Auto shut-off is standard on most foil laminators. Automatically turning off the laminator while not in use is a safety feature.
- Width. Laminators come in different widths. The width of a laminator determines the max width of the paper you can put in the laminator. If you plan to laminate large scrapbook pages, look for a laminator that accommodates at least 12 inches. The feed width of the sheets a crafting laminator can take defines what crafts projects you can handle. The wider the width is, the more versatile the item is. Nearly all laminators allow putting the paper as wide as 12 inches, but you can also find options with the 9 inches width capacity. If, however, you’ll be sticking to smaller projects, most standard 9-inch laminator widths will work.
- Warmup speed. The fastest laminators are fully warmed up in a minute or two. Other laminators may take longer, often around five or six minutes, to fully heat up.
- Laminating speed. The amount of lamination a machine can achieve in a minute. This is important if you are planning to do a lot of foiling. Most laminating machines will tell you about the speed at which they can laminate documents. This is typically written in millimeters per minute. Note that higher number equals faster speeds. Pick a machine with a range of 300mm/min to 600mm/min
- Unjamming feature. It does not happen often, but this feature will allow you to free the machine of a jammed project.
- Reverse function. Reverse operation is available on several foil laminators. In the event that you make a mistake or need to remove a document, this option allows you to reverse the laminating process.
Best Laminators for Foiling
Akiles Pro Am 330
Both hot and cold lamination, Silicon heat rollers help in a uniform supply of heat.Gradual temperature control (176oF-320oF)- to allow for a broad lamination scope. Temperature control allows you to increase/decrease the heat depending on the project. 13-inch-wide opening.
Amazon Basics Laminator
High-quality lamination. Compact design- to save space. Simple guides- easy to use. Short warm up time-4 minutes. Supports letters, business cards, legal, and photo size items. Two different heat settings. Comes in a 9 inch and a 12 inch
Have to read instructions before using the machine. One can’t laminate documents that are greater than 5mm. The sheets that can fold inside the laminator are not inserted well.
Crevona A4 Laminator
ABS lever for jam release. Contains all the necessary extras.The package includes a laminator, a paper trimmer, a corner rounder, and 25 laminating pouches.When it’s warmed up, it can laminate at a pace of 250 millimeters per minute. So at least 50 sheets of A4-sized paper can be laminated in one hour.
Feed tray without pouches.
Rapid 1-minute warm-up with InstaHeat Technology. 12-½ inches feed width, This model boasts an auto shut-off feature to prevent overheating and save electricity when not in use
There are two sizes- a 6 inch and a 12 inch, The machine has 4 rollers rather than 2. Better lamination. Adjustable heat setting.
Price varies from $66-$199
Royal Desktop Lamination Machine
Advanced cooling system-ensures the laminator does not heat up. Fast warm-up time-3 minutes. Has a jam release lever-makes it easy to clean up.This laminator uses a two-roller mechanism, making for a smooth result. These rollers ensure that there is no wrinkling or bubbling of the sheets. Auto-shutoff after 30 minutes Warm-up very fast A touchscreen display that is easy to use 6 inches of lamination per minute
Jam release features may not be the best-clogging may still occur.
Scotch TL 906
Has an anti-jam technology that prevents sheet jam and lagging. Light signals after it warms up
9-10inch long opening area. Noisy.
Swingline GBC Inspire
It takes 7 minutes to heat up. Can laminate up to sheets of 5mm.
Can jam up sheets if it’s not fed in properly.
Toyuugo Thermal Laminating Machine
Uses both hot and cold lamination. Two roller designs. ABS button for the case the pouch wraps. Ideal for laminating A4, A5, A6 sizes of paper. 280 mm of the papers per minute. 3 minutes for warming. Short laminating time.,Not only used for papers. Fast and smooth laminating. Low noise.
Overheats with an increased workload.
This product works as a gold foil applicator, a hot press, and a cold press.Uses reactive foiling for better embellishments. Has slider buttons-makes it easier to transition between modes (foil application, hot press, and cold press) Includes free gold foil that is added to the package.
The foiling envelope that comes in the pack melts up pretty fast. Another issue that was spotted with this unit is that it provides astonishingly inconsistent results. In most cases, the foiled projects that come out of this machine are flawless. But the heating element acts out from time to time and doesn’t provide enough heat to make the toner and foil stick together.
It's A Matter Of Opinion
Types of Foils Used With Laminators
Reactive transfer foil is most often used with foil lamination. Instead of toner sheets or predesigned products, a reactive agent is used to transfer the product onto your project. May also be referred to as toner reactive sheets.
Make certain you opt for thermal and toner-activated foil. This type of foil will stick to the toner when exposed to heat.
Foil thickness is another factor you should take note of. Your choice will usually depend on the pouch thickness your laminating machine can handle. Most models allow you to use foil that is as thick as 80-100 microns (0,0003-0,004 inch). More enhanced devices support 250 microns (around 0,01 inch)-thick foil.
Foil comes in various colors, starting with traditional silver and gold laminating foil and going with outstanding bright colors. It is also available in different finish variants, including metallic, glitter, matte, holographic, and more.
Reactive agents like such as specialized transfer gel, transfer paint, or ink toner, are used as an "adhesive " with the lamination process to adhere the foil onto the project.
Some of the most popular foils include Heidi Swapp MINC Reactive Foil , Therm O Web iCraft Deco Foil Transfer Sheets , and Gina K Therm O Web Fancy Foils .
One of the most popular brands of foil for laminators has been Deco Foil. The most common sizes are 6 by 6-inch sheets and 12 by 6-inch sheets. They come in a range of colors and finishes including patterns, textures and color flipping variations. Deco Foil transfer sheets are also available with a flock finish makes adding flock to a project extremely easy.
Gina K Designs (for Deco Foil)
These are 6inch by 8 inch -12 sheets per pack. Available in a variety of colors, including solids and holographics.
Heidi Swap Reactive Foils
Comes in rolls that measures 12.25" x 5'. Smaller rolls are available that is 6.25" wide by 5 feet long.
Designer Toner Pages
Toner Sheets and Toner Products
There are so many options when it comes to toner sheets and toner products. As many products as there are, so are the price ranges that are available. Products are interchangeable with laminators and the Minc System.
Of course, if you have a laser printer, you can create as many toner sheets as you would like. Otherwise, here are some options to consider.
Toner sheets come in different sizes and amounts of pages. If you use your sheets carefully, you can get a lot of die cuts and projects from one sheet. Always keep any left-over toner sheet paper. Even the smallest piece can be used. Shop around to get the best prices on these sheets. Check out office supply stores too.
Minc toner sheets were specifically made for the Minc Foiling Machine. But it can be used for other laminators as well.
Peel and Stick Toner Sheets
Deco Foil Peel N Stick Toner Sheets 8-inch X10 inch 2 pack. Simply use scissors punches dies or an electronic cutter to cut any shape then layer with Deco Foil Transfer sheet and run through a laminator. No need for a separate adhesive just peel and stick. This package contains two 10-1/2x8 inch toner sheets. These are well worth the money. Saves so much time. Less messy than using other adhesives.
White Toner Card Fronts
Created by I Craft, these unique foilable designs are created exclusively for the Deco Foil Collection and are available in a variety of unique designs. 8 sheets per pack. 4.25 inches x 5.5 inches designer card fronts (A2 size). Compatible with most hot laminators.
Clear Designer Toner Sheets
There are 2 Sheets: 8.5 inches x 11 inches (Printed Area: 8 inches x 10.5 inches) . Can be used with alcohol inks and markers to create one-of-a-kind designs. Can be die cut or used with electronic cutting systems. There are general designs as well as seasonal designs.
Toner Sheets on Kraft Paper
There are 6 sheets per pack in this kraft toner card front. 4.25" x 5.5" sheets
Minc Stamp Cleaner
Cleans toner ink off stamps.
Minc Stamping Kit
Contains one toner stamp pad, two toner stamp refill pads, 2oz of toner ink and one .34oz measuring cup. Non-toxic.
Minc Stamping Pad
Comes as part of a kit or is sold separately. Just a stamping pad holder. Stamp pads are sold separately.
Minc Toner Ink
2-ounce bottle of toner ink to use on stamp pad and other projects
Minc Toner Paint
This three ounce bottle is filled with clear toner paint.
Minc Toner Pen
The toner ink marker allows you to foil your own hand-drawn designs or add your own personal touches. Create your design with this toner ink pen on your project, cover with the thermal foil of your choice, then process through the Minc Applicator Machine.
Minc Toner Sheets
Use these sheets with your favorite reactive Minc foils. Printed on study cardstock. Foil adheres to the black toner while passing through the Minc or other laminating machine. Ideal for die-cutting.
Minc Transfer Folders
Use transfer folders to hold your foil and toner designs together as they pass through the Minc machine.
Toner Sheets And Product Ideas
- How To Create Custom Card Backgrounds With Deco Foil Clear Designer Toner Sheets - Therm O Web
Create custom cards with the Deco Foil Clear Designer Toner Sheets
- Tips for Die Cutting & Foiling Minc Toner Sheets
I'm sharing a few tips for getting great results when die cutting and foiling the Heidi Swapp Minc Toner Sheets. Video included.
- Foiling with DIY printed toner images - YouTube
Get tips on how to get the best foil results with your own printed toner images. I will walk you through some examples and show you what gives the best foil ...
- Different ways to use Deco Foil Clear Designer Toner Sheets - Laurel Beard
Everything You Need In One Set
Basic Laminator Foiling Process
- Print your patterns on your laser printer
- Next, roll out your toner-reactive foil over your paper, shiny side up
- Trim the foil so that it fits perfectly over the sheet of paper.
- Place a piece of card stock over the top of the foil to hold the metallic foil in place.
- Now that you have sandwiched your foil between the two pieces of paper, run it through your laminator. I do this twice just to make sure the foil reacts to the toner as well as I want it to. TIP: Make sure your laminator is warmed up properly before use.
- Your foil will be attached to the bottom sheet of paper. Peel it off slowly.
More Basic Foiling With Laminator Ideas
- Gold Foil Heat Transfer with a Laminator
Beautiful framed gold foil project
Using Thermal Gel With a Laminator
Another easy technique to use with your laminator. So easy and budget friendly. You can make these cards in bulk which makes them perfect for holidays and special occasions.
- Cardstock bases
- Thermal gel
- Scraper, gift card or old credit card
- Low tack tape
- Double sided tape
- Cut a piece of cardstock the same size or smaller than the card base
- Tape the stencil to the cardstock piece, then tape the cardstock to the craft mat
- Apply the transfer (thermal)gel to the cardstock evenly
- Carefully remove the stencil
- Allow the cardstock to dry about 30 minutes
- Place the foil-shiny side up on top of the cardstock
- Place the foil and cardstock in a parchment laminator pouch
- Run through your laminator or Minc machine
- Remove from the pouch
- Remove the foil from the cardstock
- Use double sided tape to adhere the cardstock to the card base
- Add a sentiment
- Use the left-over negative pieces to create another project.
Duo Transfer Gel
The DUO works two ways; you can transfer using heat from a laminator OR pressure from a die-cutting machine. Transfer Gel DUO is a permanent transfer medium that dries clear and remains tacky for easy use
Original Deco Foil Transfer Gel has been reformulated to create a white basecoat effect under lighter shades of Deco Foil Flock Transfer Sheets and Deco Foil Opal Transfer Foil, allowing these finishes to truly POP against many more colorful or dark backgrounds. Deco Foil Transfer Gel Blanco dries opaque white and requires heat to transfer. For even more versatility, Blanco can be tinted with inks to create custom, enamel finishes when used with stencils.
Duo Gel Tips
- For best results, transfer foil or flock within 12 hours of initial application
- Mask off any areas where you don’t want Deco Foil Transfer Gel Duo
- Tape or hold your stencil firmly in place to prevent the paste getting underneath.
- For best results, hold tool at 45-degree angle to spread Deco Foil Transfer Gel, using slow, smooth motion
- Gently scrape away excess gel from stencil and return to jar for future use
- Wash tools right after use using soap and warm water
- Wipe rim of jar with paper towel before closing lid
2-for-1 Toner Sheet Card Technique
This is another way to use those dies that have been sitting in your stash. Once you get started with this type of die cutting, you will want to keep creating new projects with them
- Toner sheets
- Card base
- Craft foils
- Double sided tape
- Background dies
- White Card Stock
- Card bases in the same size
- Cut the toner sheet to fit your card base
- Foil the toner sheet with your laminator
- Die Cut one in white cards stock
- Die cut the foiled toner sheet. Place the design down against the top of the foil sheet
- Glue the frame part of the white sheet to one of the card bases.
- Glue the foil pieces from the foiled die cut to the white die cut frame
- Use the foiled frame on a white card base
- Add a sentiment to both cards
- Peel and stick toner sheets make the project easier
- Leave the pieces on the die cut and remove and place them one at a time
Foiling With Embossing Powder
Layered Foiling With Embossing Powder
The layered stamp set should have two layers, an inside layer and an outline design. To get the best results, you will want to use larger flower sets. Try experimenting with other sets as well.
- Layered Acrylic stamps of your choice.
- Pigment ink (I did use dye ink with some success)
- White cardstock
- Versamark clear ink (other embossing inks can be used)
- Clear embossing powder
- Heat gun
- Cornstarch or an embossing bag
- Soft paint brush
- Heat foil
- Choose the stamps you would like to work with. Flowers work nicely in this process
- Stamp the main image with the pigment ink. Use one of the inner layers of the set
- Allow it time to dry
- Use the cornstarch or the embossing bag over the cardstock
- Carefully align the outline image over the image that you have stamped. Mae sure it is correctly lined up. A stamping platform or a stampamajig helps line your stamps perfectly,
- Stamp the outline image with the Versamark ink or embossing ink
- Cover the stamp with clear embossing powder
- Make sure to get any stray pieces of embossing powder off the card stock. A soft paint brush works well
- Use the heat gun to set the embossing powder
- Add any additional images to the project by stamping them with the embossing ink
- Cover them with embossing powder
- Again, heat set the embossing powder with the heat gun
- Place the cardstock in a parchment folder
- Over the project with the foil, shiny side up
- Close the parchment folder
- Run the folder through the laminator
- If you have both cold and hot lamination, make sure that your setting is on hot lamination
- You can use a cardstock shim on top of the foil to assure that the foil does not slip
You can create cards, embellishments and scrapbook pages using this simple method that does not require any toner products at all.
More Foil Laminator Projects
- How To Foil Wedding Invitations - WeddingProTips.net
Foil wedding invites have been a firm favourite among brides-to-be for a long time. The hottest wedding invitation trends usually use a touch of metallics to
- How to Make Foil Art with a Laminator - Semigloss Design
Learn how to make foil art prints using a laminator. This DIY art process is so easy! Plus download a free copy of this floral ampersand art.
More Laminator Foiling Tips
- The smoother my paper is, the better the foil sticks.
- Make sure your foil does not exceed beyond the carrier sheet.
- Color toner is no better than black toner. Any color you print will be covered by the foil, so you won’t see any differences in color anyway. And black toner is usually cheaper and easier to find.
- Deco Foil is a little thicker than the Minc Foil. However, I’ve never noticed a difference in finished quality. They are fairly identical in results.
- Sometimes the foil doesn’t adhere to the toner, and you are left with a distressed look. This could be from the laminator not being hot enough, or can also be a result of the paper you are using (the more grit the paper has, the less foil that will stick smoothly
Final Thoughts on Using a Laminator to Foil
Who does not like adding some bling to their cards, scrapbook pages and journals?
Foiling is the perfect technique to add some custom bling to all of your papercraft projects. Laminators make perfect sense when it comes to foiling.
- They are reasonable in price. You can get a good laminator for under $50. That is far more reasonable than most other types of foiling machines in the $200 range.
- They are easier to use than other foiling machines
- You do not have to buy any heat plates to make images
- You do not have to have a die cutting machine
- Less to learn than with a foiling machine
We hope that you will run with the information here and start creating your own foiled projects using your laminator. Happy Crafting!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Linda F Correa